ANALYSIS: BIG QUESTION; What lessons should be learned from the twin abortion case?

The selective abortion revealed by Professor Phillip Bennett created a media storm

The selective abortion revealed by Professor Phillip Bennett created a

media storm

Nigel Duncan British Medical Association

‘It appears that Dr Bennett gave his interview without anyone by his

side which is a classic error. Had a press officer been present he would

not have said many of the things he did. The decision to then stay

silent was an odd one. He should have issued an immediate statement

explaining the situation without breaching confidentiality further. It

would not have stopped the furore but may have prevented the bizarre

confusion that ensued.’

Val Killion Oldham NHS Trust

‘Dr Bennett wouldn’t have realised the significance of what he said

because most doctors are good at treating patients and not dealing with

the media. It is always easy to be wise after the event but had I been

advising Queen Charlotte’s hospital I would have given out a statement

immediately confirming that the operation had already taken place.’

Peter Garrett Life

‘We tried to act in a restrained manner and at no time did we criticise

the woman involved. We questioned the motives of the doctor and hospital

concerned whereas the pro-abortionists stressed the law was just

operating normally and that there were no ethical or moral dilemmas. I

think the media found our views more resonant and, as we both ran around

for three days before hearing the abortion was already over, that a

camaraderie developed between us.’

Ruth Grigg Family Planning Association

‘There must be some embarrassed journalists around since they swallowed

whole a story that collapsed after two days. The facts could never be

fully known so the media accepted a story largely constructed by the

anti-abortion lobby. Journalists should be more sceptical about being

fed material like this. Abortion is an issue that deserves debate - but

one based on reason and real facts.’

Michael Regester Regester Larkin

‘There is clearly an ethical debate on this issue but all of my sym-

pathy goes to the mother. She has found herself at the centre of a huge

amount of media attention on a matter which should have remained

private, between her and the medical staff involved, unless she

consented otherwise.’ Had that consent been sought before the doctor

spoke to the media, the futile and painful 48-hour campaign to raise

money would have been avoided.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in